Alameda County Board of Supervisors District 3 candidates, from left to right: Lena Tam, Rebecca Kaplan, Surlene Grant, David Kakishiba. Credit: Courtesy of candidates

Sign up for our free newsletter

Free Oakland news, written by Oaklanders, delivered straight to your inbox three times a week.

Oakland City Councilmember Rebecca Kaplan led the race for the District 3 seat on the county Board of Supervisors as of Friday evening when the registrar posted the latest results. With 39% of the vote, Kaplan picked up a majority of votes in her hometown and also in San Leandro. She will likely face Lena Tam in a runoff in November, although there are still ballots being counted.

Tam, a former Alameda councilmember and EBMUD engineer manager, picked up 30% of the vote, carrying much of her island hometown.

Kaplan declared victory in a tweet on Wednesday, thanking her supporters.

Wilma Chan's tragic death last year—struck by a motorist while walking her dog in Alameda—created an unexpectedly open seat on the county board of supervisors.

The primary campaign between four experienced candidates was low-key, without attack ads, and with just a handful of Zoom forums held by community groups. In a county and district as vast and diverse as Alameda, it wasn't surprising that each candidate drew support from their respective hometowns and professional networks.

Kaplan's base of support centered on Oakland. She funded her campaign mostly with contributions from Oakland residents. District 3's western boundary is downtown Oakland and includes a portion of central Oakland. She also came into the supervisor's race with the advantage of endorsements and funding from influential unions like SEIU 1021, which represents public employees across the Bay Area, and IAF Local 55, which represents Oakland firefighters.

David Kakishiba's supporters included friends and colleagues he's worked with as the leader of the East Bay Asian Youth Center and as a former OUSD board member. Gary Yee and Mike Hutchinson, who are often on opposing sides of debates, both endorsed Kakishiba. Kakishiba held 18% of the vote as of Friday.

Surlene Grant, who served on the San Leandro City Council for many years, drew support from that city, which is on the southern edge of District 3. Grant garnered 12% of votes.

Before joining The Oaklandside as News Editor, Darwin BondGraham worked with The Appeal, where he was an investigative reporter covering police and prosecutorial misconduct. He has reported on gun violence for The Guardian, and was an enterprise reporter for the East Bay Express. BondGraham's work has also appeared with KQED, ProPublica and other leading national and local outlets. He holds a doctorate in sociology from UC Santa Barbara and was the co-recipient of the George Polk Award for local reporting in 2017.